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June 23, 2017 [GMT]
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TNA leaders call on PM Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met the leaders of Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party TNA and discussed bilateral issues.The Tamil National Alliance delegation led by main opposition leader R Sampanthan met Prime Minister Modi at the Colombo airport before he left for home after wrapping up his two-day Sri Lanka visit.In the meeting, TNA leaders discussed issues of mutual interest to India and Sri Lanka, the party sources said.


China defends military ties with Sri Lanka after submarine visit blocked
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

China defended its military relationship with Sri Lanka as good for regional peace and stability after Sri Lanka rejected a request from China to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbour India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence.


PM off to China to participate in ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe will leave for China today to take part in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit in Beijing. The high-level round table discussion of the summit will be attended by leaders of about 30 countries. The forum will pay special attention to the collective dividends the countries can gain through the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative of Chinese President Xi Jingping.


‘Nothing controversial’ in Modi-Mahinda meet
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday, enquired about “China’s thinking” on current development projects in Sri Lanka, a top source told The Hindu on Friday. The ex-President is a known ally of China and has in the past blamed India for his defeat in the January 2015 elections. The former strongman retains considerable public support.


Human bones found at new five-star hotel construction site
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

Human bones have been found from the construction site of the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, the Police said. Police Headquarters said that several human bones were found from the site at Galle Face. The Police said that the bones were discovered while digging the earth using heavy machinery.Initial suspicion was that the site may have been a cemetery several years back. A Magisterial inquiry was conducted at the location and police investigations are underway.


India, Sri Lanka navies complete Joint hydrographic Survey
[Saturday 2017-05-13 17:00]

The India and Sri Lanka Navies have successfully completed the joint oceanographic survey conducted by them off the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka and handed over the survey charts to the Commander of the Navy today. The joint Hydrographic survey conducted by the Indian Navy Hydrographic Department and Sri Lanka Navy Hydrographic Service from 29 March to 11 May 2017 in the southern seas extended from Colombo to Sangamankanda in the East.


Modi assures construction of 10,000 houses in upcountry Top News
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the spirit of Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka and announced the construction of additional 10,000 houses in upcountry areas. Prime Minister Modi assured Tamils that the government and people of India are with them in their journey towards peace and greater prosperity.


Lankan accused of killing wife in Canada, wants to be deported
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

A Sri Lankan refugee in Canada, who was charged with murdering his wife, has told the Immigration and Refugee Board during his detention hearing on Thursday that he wants to be deported back to Sri Lanka, Toronto Sun reported on Friday. The refugee, Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam, has said that he no longer fears returning to home country. “I don’t have any kids, I don’t have anything in Criminal Code or immigration code,” he said. “So I don’t know why I’m still in jail. That’s what I’m thinking to go back to my country.” Thanabalasingam, 31, was charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of his 21-year-old wife, Anuja Baskaran.


China keeps mum over Sri Lanka rejecting submarine docking
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry today parried questions on reports that Sri Lanka has rejected China’s request for its submarine to dock at Colombo next week after a similar visit in 2014 triggered a strong protest from India, the Press Trust of India reported. “I have just read the relevant information. I suggest you raise it with the defence ministry for more details,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said when asked whether China has expressed dissatisfaction to Sri Lanka for refusing to let its submarines to dock in Colombo port.


1990 ambulance service will be extended to all provinces: Modi
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

The 1990 ambulance service funded by the Indian Government now operating in the Western and Southern provinces, will be extended to the entire country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.


Heroin worth Rs.90 mn found floating in the sea
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

A parcel containing 9.3 kilos of heroin worth more than Rs.90 million was found floating in the sea, some eight nautical miles off Kankesanthurai, by the Navy. The navy personnel who had spotted the parcel had brought it ashore and found that it contained heroin. It was handed over to the Police for further investigation.


Modi meets MR, Gota
[Friday 2017-05-12 19:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo in an apparently unscheduled late night meeting, The Hindu said today. Indian High Commisioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu has told that the meeting was held at Mr. Rajapaksa’s request. The meeting comes ten days after MP Wimal Weerawansa called for a black flag protest around Mr. Modi's visit.


Modi arrives Top News
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago to attend the 14th UN Vesak Day celebrations to be held in Colombo tomorrow. He was welcomed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake.


PM to sign MoU with China during his visit next week
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

In the wake of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India, the Government is hoping to sign a similar agreement with China during Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to that country. The Cabinet yesterday endorsed the MoU to be signed with China on cooperation in the fields of urban development, transportation, power and energy and road development though no specific project is outlined in the agreement.


SL-Dutch MoU on arms storing facility in Galle
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

Sri Lanka and the Netherlands will soon finalise an agreement on facilitating latter’s deployment of personnel to protect vessels carrying its flag on Somali waters. A high ranking Navy Headquarters official told The Island that discussions had been held between the defence ministries of the two countries on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The official said the Netherlands would use the Galle navy base to store weapons and other equipment required by its personnel assigned for the protection of vessels.


Sri Lanka visit, a sign of strong relationship: PM Modi
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his visit to Sri Lanka is a sign of “strong relationship” between the two countries. “I will be in Sri Lanka for a two-day visit starting today. This will be my second bilateral visit there in two years, a sign of our strong relationship,” Modi said in a Facebook post. He will be inaugurating a hospital in Sri Lanka built with Indian assistance.


SL rejects Chinese request for submarine visit: sources
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

Sri Lanka has rejected China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister landed in the island nation. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbor India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence.


18 NCP councillors support JO
[Thursday 2017-05-11 19:00]

Eighteen UPFA members in North-Central Provincial Council (NCPC) are reported to have tilted towards the joint opposition. A political crisis erupted in the council after K.H. Nandasena was removed from his ministerial portfolio and the subsequent resignation of Minister S.M. Ranjith from his portfolio in protest. The JO led by Mahinda Rajapaksa has the backing of 18 members while those loyal to President Maitripala Sirisena, the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) total 15. SLPP chairman G.L. Peiris said the situation was somewhat similar to what prevailed in the Southern Provincial Council in 1994. He said it was a game changer at the time.


Issues of the Tamils Will be discussed with Modi
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

Tamil National Alliance and Opposition Leader, R. Sampanthan, says that the issues of the Tamil people should be discussed at the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrives in Sri Lanka on 11 May to participate in the UN International Wesak celebration.


Reconciliation will only strengthen national security: CBK
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

Presenting the recently Cabinet-approved National Reconciliation Policy to the media, former President and Chair of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said that reconciliation will only serve to strengthen national security rather than compromise it.


Italy seizes ship-load of tramadol for the ISIS via SL
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

A ship load of tramadol allegedly from India on its way to be sold to ISIS fighters via Sri Lanka was seized by the Italian Police, Heat Street news website reported yesterday. Italian investigators have traced the tramadol shipment consisting 37 million tablets to an Indian pharmaceuticals company called Royal International. The company has allegedly sold the pills for US$250,000 to a Dubai-based importer. The ship had sailed from India to Sri Lanka where they disappeared from the ship’s documents.


Celebrations on Vesak Day symbolize peace, compassion, and goodwill - U.S.
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

On behalf of the people of the United States of America, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered best wishes to all those celebrating Vesak Day today. In a press release issued Tuesday, the Secretary of State said the celebrations on the Vesak day symbolize peace, compassion, and goodwill, universal values all share.


President should avoid coming to Mullaitivu on 18 May
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam has said that since 18 May was day of mourning to commemorate those who died during the final phase of the civil war in 2009, President Maithripala Sirisena should avoid coming to Mullaitivu on that day. President Sirisena is scheduled to inaugurate the National Poverty Alleviation programme at the Mullaitivu District Secretariat on that day. Sivajilingam ,who was an independent candidate at the last presidential election in 2015, held a special press briefing, at the Jaffna Press Club on Sunday (7), on the proposed visit of President to Mullaitivu on 18 May.


No changes in Sri Lanka cabinet - sources
[Wednesday 2017-05-10 18:00]

There will not be any changes made to the ministerial portfolios soon, according to government sources. The unity government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the rumors that amendments will be made to the cabinet were false, local media reported. Speaking to NewsRadio, Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said today's Cabinet meeting would be held as per usual with no specialty.


Lankan guilty of second-degree murder in Canada
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

A jury in Canada that had been deliberating since last week found Amalan Thandapanithesigar, who came to Canada as Sri Lankan refugee, guilty of second-degree murder for having stabbed his neighbour in Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal in Canada, Montreal Gazette reported. Thandapanithesigar was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge late Monday afternoon.


Geetha’s MP post annulled; Parliament Sec.Gen
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake has informed the Chairman of the Election Commission that the MP post of UPFA Galle district Parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe has been annulled in line with the Court of Appeal verdict. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday (3) ruled that Ms. Kumarasinghe was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament on the basis that she holds dual citizenship


Don't change our portfolios: UNP tells MS
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

The United National Party (UNP) has requested President Maitripala Sirisena not to reshuffle cabinet portfolios assigned to it. According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, it is discretionary for the President to consult the Prime Minister in the appointment of Cabinet Ministers and assignment of subjects. In this scenario the President is unable to reshuffle the Cabinet without consulting the Prime Minister who is from the UNP. Earlier, the President said he would carry out major changes in the government before Vesak.


GSP+ through special gazette notification in Brussels on May 15: Mangala
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

The GSP plus tax concession lost by Sri Lanka during the Rajapaksa regime will be restored shortly through a special gazette notification issued in Brussels on May 15, said Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera at a meeting held in Matara on May 7. The meeting was held to thank UNP members and supporters who attended the party’s May Day rally at Campbell Park.

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